Armed conflict in Kachin State - the human rights situation
|Title:|| ||Discrimination agains the Kachin
|Description/subject:|| ||Link to the Kachin area of the OBL Human Rights section|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Online Burma/Myanmar Library|
|Format/size:|| ||html, pdf|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||08 February 2012|
|Title:|| ||State terror in the Kachin hills - Burma Army attacks against civilians in Northern Burma
|Date of publication:|| ||28 February 2013|
"In late 2012, the Burma Army intensified military operations against strongholds of the
Kachin Independence Army (KIA). This culminated in a massive offensive on the KIA
headquarters at Laiza on the China-Burma border starting in mid-December. This month-long
assault involved repeated mortar shelling and aerial bombings in the Laiza area, populated by
20,000 civilians, over half of whom are internally displaced persons (IDPs) who were denied
refuge in China.
This report documents the killing or injury of 26 civilians, including women, children and the
elderly, in Burmese artillery attacks in five areas during the recent military operations. The
repeated authorization of artillery fire into areas populated by civilians, as well as deliberate
torching of villages and IDP shelters, represent serious breaches of international humanitarian
law, and are likely to amount to war crimes.
The humanitarian situation in Kachin areas remains critical, with 364 villages wholly or
partially abandoned, and over 100,000 people internally displaced. Hardly any international
aid has been provided to the 66,000 IDPs in Kachin-controlled areas.
There has been little international condemnation of the Burma Army aggression in Kachin
State. Foreign governments appear more interested in pursuing diplomatic and economic
engagement with Burma’s military-backed government. However, silence on the Burmese
military’s crimes risks plunging Burma deeper into civil war, by emboldening Burma’s rulers
to continue using force to crush the ethnic resistance movements. .
The international community must strongly condemn the crimes committed by the Burma
Army, and pressure the Burmese government to end all military aggression, begin troop
withdrawal from Kachin areas of Burma, and enter into political dialogue with the Kachin
Independence Army to address the demands for ethnic equality at the root of the conflict."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (1MB)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||03 April 2013|
|Title:|| ||SPECIAL DOSSIER: CASES UNDER THE UNLAWFUL ASSOCIATIONS ACT 1908 BROUGHT AGAINST PEOPLE ACCUSED OF CONTACT WITH KACHIN INDEPENDENCE ARMY
|Date of publication:|| ||21 January 2013|
|Description/subject:|| ||"This special dossier of 36 cases brought under the 1908 Unlawful Associations Act against people
accused of contact with the Kachin Independence Army was researched and compiled in 2012 by
independent human rights defenders in Burma who have requested that the Asian Human Rights
Commission disseminate the material...At a time that the conflict in Kachin State between the Kachin Independence Army and Burma
armed forces is only getting worse, this dossier marks an important contribution to documentation
on human rights abuses in the region, because it signals very sharply the intersection between war
and law, between violence in armed combat and violence in interrogation, in the use of torture
and other techniques against persons who have been branded enemies of the state...the human rights defenders who gathered and translated this material
have two stated objectives: to document and inform people about the use of the Unlawful
Associations Act; and, to secure the release of the accused. Both of these objectives are laudable,
and strongly supported by the AHRC. Clearly, not enough has been done to document cases of
this sort in a way that makes explicit the connection between strategic practices of the military
and those of other parts of the state apparatus for the targeting of internal enemies. We firmly
hope that by taking these steps, not only will the connections be better understood but also those
whose cases are documented will obtain relief through some publicity and attention to their
|Source/publisher:|| ||Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) & Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (2.7MB-OBL version; 3.46-original)|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.humanrights.asia/countries/burma/reports/Unlawful_Association_Dossier.pdf/view|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||21 January 2013|
|Title:|| ||THE WAR IN KACHIN STATE: A YEAR OF MORE DISPLACEMENT AND HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES
|Date of publication:|| ||08 June 2012|
|Description/subject:|| ||• In the past year, the Tatmadaw has deployed nearly 25% of its battalions to Kachin
State, escalating its war with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and bringing
further suffering to civilian populations in Kachin State and Northern Shan State.
• Tatmadaw soldiers have constantly targeted civilians in Kachin State and Northern
Shan States as part of their military operations against the KIA. Human rights abuses
have included extrajudicial killings, rape of women, arbitrary arrests, torture, forced
displacement, the use of human shields, forced labor, and the confiscation and
destruction of property. All of these systematic abuses would be considered war
crimes and/or crimes against humanity under international law.
• The ongoing conflict has displaced about 75,000 people, including at least 10,000
refugees who crossed the border into China. Despite the severity of the situation, the
regime has frustrated relief efforts, severely restricting humanitarian access to local
and international organizations.
• The KIA’s political leadership, the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), has made
repeated attempts to negotiate a lasting peace in Kachin State. However, the regime
has rejected the KIO’s request to discuss long-term political solutions prior to a
BACKGROUND: 2008 constitution, 2010 elections, BGF, energy projects, and human
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (139K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||09 June 2012|
|Title:|| ||Ongoing Impunity: Continued Burma Army Atrocities Against the Kachin People
|Date of publication:|| ||June 2012|
"This report provides an update of atrocities committed by the Burma Army against civilians since it broke its 17-year ceasefire with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) one year ago. It highlights the particular suffering of women during the conflict, who have been forced to be porters, used as sex slaves, gang-raped and killed.
Since the start of the conflict, there has been a huge deployment of Burmese troops into Kachin State and northern Shan State. Currently about 150 battalions are being used to crush the KIA, tripling the number of Burmese troops in the area. These troops have deliberately targeted civilians for abuse, causing villagers to flee in terror, leaving large swathes of countryside depopulated.
There is strong evidence that Burmese troops have used rape systematically as a weapon of war. In the past year, KWAT has documented the rape or sexual assault of at least 43 women and girls, of whom 21 were killed. The rapes have been widespread, occurred in thirteen townships, by ten different battalions. Women have been openly kept as sex slaves by military officers, and gang-raped in church.
There has been complete impunity for these crimes. When the husband of a Kachin woman abducted by the Burmese military tried to press charges, the Naypyidaw Supreme Court dismissed the case without even hearing his evidence.
The continued abuse against civilians has swelled the numbers of internally displaced persons in Kachin State to over 75,000, most of whom are sheltering in makeshift camps along the China border, where little international aid has reached them.
KWAT is calling on the international community to denounce the ongoing human rights abuses, and maintain pressure on the Burmese government to immediately implement a nationwide ceasefire, pull back Burma Army troops from ethnic areas and start dialogue with the United Nationalities Federal Council towards a process of genuine political reform."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Kachin Women's Association Thailand (KWAT)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (1.4MB-OBL version; 8.2MB-original))|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.kachinwomen.com/images/stories/publication/ongoing_iimpunity%20.pdf|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||11 June 2012|
|Title:|| ||Untold Miseries - Wartime Abuses and Forced Displacement in Burma’s Kachin State
|Date of publication:|| ||19 March 2012|
|Description/subject:|| ||'When Burmese President Thein Sein took office in March 2011, he said that over 60 years of armed conflict have put Burma’s
ethnic populations through “the hell of untold miseries.” Just three months later, the Burmese armed forces resumed military
operations against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), leading to serious abuses and a humanitarian crisis affecting tens of
thousands of ethnic Kachin civilians.
“Untold Miseries”: Wartime Abuses and Forced Displacement in Kachin State is based on over 100 interviews in Burma’s Kachin
State and China’s Yunnan province. It details how the Burmese army has killed and tortured civilians, raped women, planted
antipersonnel landmines, and used forced labor on the front lines, including children as young as 14-years-old. Soldiers have
attacked villages, razed homes, and pillaged properties. Burmese authorities have failed to authorize a serious relief effort in
KIA-controlled areas, where most of the 75,000 displaced men, women, and children have sought refuge. The KIA has also been
responsible for serious abuses, including using child soldiers and antipersonnel landmines.
Human Rights Watch calls on the Burmese government to support an independent international mechanism to investigate
violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by all parties to Burma’s ethnic armed conflicts. The government
should also provide United Nations and humanitarian agencies unhindered access to all internally displaced populations, and
make a long-term commitment with humanitarian agencies to authorize relief to populations in need.'|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Human Rights Watch|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (1.7MB - OBL version; 2.25MB - original))|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/burma0312ForUpload_1.pdf|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||20 March 2012|
|Title:|| ||Under Siege in Kachin State, Burma
|Date of publication:|| ||November 2011|
|Description/subject:|| ||Executive Summary:
"In September 2011, as the international community discussed easing sanctions on Burma’s
military-backed civilian government, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) conducted an emergency
investigation in Burma’s Kachin State in response to reports of grave human rights violations
in the region. The aims of the study were
1. to independently investigate reported human rights abuses and war crimes; and
2. to assess the humanitarian situation and nutritional status of internally displaced
persons (IDPs) displaced by conflict in 2011.
This report provides the first humanitarian assessment of some of the IDPs living in areas of
Kachin State that are not controlled by the Burmese government. The United Nations Office for
the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) recently released a report on the health
situation of 5900 IDPs in urban and peri-urban areas of Kachin state that are under Burmese
government control. But no mention was made of the estimated 22,000 displaced people in
other areas of the state. PHR conducted its investigation entirely in these areas; this report will
help to build a more complete picture of the humanitarian situation among internally displaced
persons in politically contested areas in Kachin State.
The human rights investigation provides compelling evidence that the Burmese army (the
Tatmadaw) has committed multiple human rights violations in Kachin State. Between June and
September 2011, the Burmese army looted food from civilians, fired indiscriminately into villages,
threatened villages with attacks, and used civilians as porters, human minesweepers,
and impressed guides. Our findings are consistent with similar reports of human rights abuses
in other ethnic states, and suggest that violations of rights of ethnic nationalities in the country
by the central government are systematic and widespread.
In addition to the human rights investigation, PHR visited six camps and four shelters for displaced
Kachin civilians on the Sino-Burmese border and conducted health and nutrition assessments
from 22-30 September, 2011. The camps fail to meet multiple minimum humanitarian
standards outlined in the Sphere humanitarian guidelines. Camps are overcrowded and there
are insufficient numbers of latrines and water supply points. Camp medical staff reported that
upper respiratory infections and diarrhea were the most common reasons for clinic visits, and
that they experienced shortages in medicine for infants.
Key human rights findings of this report:
• The Burmese army forced Kachin civilians to guide combat units and walk in front of army
columns to trigger landmines. This practice puts civilians at extreme risk of injury and
death and is a war crime.
• The Burmese army regularly pillaged food and supplies from civilians. This practice is
prohibited under customary international humanitarian law.
• The Burmese army fired automatic weapons directly into a civilian village, striking nonmilitary
targets. The intentional direction of attacks against civilians is also recognized as
a war crime in the Rome Statute1, the treaty that created the International Criminal Court.
1. Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, art. 8(2), 17 Jul. 1998, 2187 U.N.T.S. 90, entered into force 1 Jul,
Under Siege in Kachin State, Burma
Key related humanitarian concerns:
• IDP camps are overcrowded and the numbers of latrines and water supply points are
insufficient to ensure that residents’ human rights to clean food and water are met. Camp
medical staff reported insufficient supplies of medicine for infants.
• Eleven percent of children under five years old in one camp in Laiza were found to be
severely or moderately malnourished, a situation that the World Health Organization
(WHO) classifies as “severe” and warrants targeted supplementary feeding programs.
• Very little aid reaches IDP camps, and groups caring for them face challenges in providing
food, medicine, and shelter. The most vulnerable populations—those in rural areas and
near the border—have not received any official humanitarian aid; they are only receiving
aid from community-based organizations, which have largely been ignored by the
international donor community.
This investigation suggests that the incremental political changes in central Burma have not
translated into improved livelihoods or improved the human rights situation of ethnic populations
living along Burma’s frontiers. The government of Burma has announced greater freedoms,
including unblocking some internet websites and limiting censorship in the press, and
releasing Aung San Suu Kyi and a fraction of the other political prisoners in the country. Some
in the international community have asserted that political change has come to Burma; however,
these changes largely are confined to the urban, primarily ethnic Burman, population. For
many of the peoples of Burma facing conflict and abuse, including the Kachin peoples, the brutality
of the old regime remains an omnipresent threat.
PHR’s findings come at a crucial moment when the international community is considering
easing sanctions on Burma in response to its positive steps towards what Senior General Than
Shwe has called “disciplined democracy.” PHR welcomes the stated commitment of the government
to greater openness and urges the international community to ensure that the rhetoric
translates into positive action for all people in Burma. The Kachin and other groups continue to
endure grave human rights violations at the hands of the Burmese army. True progress must be
measured by thorough analysis of the extent of the government’s abuses and by establishing a
system through which perpetrators are held accountable for their actions..."|
|Author/creator:|| ||Bill Davis, MA, MPH|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Physicians for Human Rights|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (554K - 0riginal; 458K - OBL version)|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs12/Under_Seige_in_Kachin_State_Burma-2011-11-red.pdf|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||02 December 2011|